November is Diabetes Awareness Month! Those with diabetes are more likely to develop eye disease or have vision loss, so this month we encourage you to stay aware of the risks and what you can do to manage them! At minimum, you should have a dilated eye exam every year to screen for the following conditions.
Diabetes leads to higher risk of eye diseases such as:
Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina and often results in tissue damage and vision loss. Common symptoms include seeing spots or floaters, blurry vision, an area of darkness/blankness in your vision, and poorer night vision. As the disease progresses, it can even lead to blindness in severe cases.
Cataracts: Cataracts are cloudy areas/spots in the lens of your eye. They are often not noticeable at first, but over time your vision may become blurrier and you may notice a glare. Cataracts occur due to the proteins in the eye's lens starting to break down and lump together. Diabetes can cause cataracts earlier in life or accelerate the progression.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma causes vision loss and even blindness due to optic nerve damage. This damage is a result of pressure on the optic nerve, and typically there are no early symptoms that this is occurring. However, your doctor will test your eye pressure at your annual eye exam. When glaucoma is detected, the common course of treatment is eye drops. This will slow the progression of the disease.
Keep those sugars controlled!
If you have diabetes, it is incredibly important to make sure you are taking care of your health and diet. Since there are several holidays coming up, we’ve picked some of our favorite diabetes-friendly recipes for the holiday season to share! And don't forget to call us to schedule your annual eye health examination.